The Zend Avesta, Part III (SBE31), L.H. Mills, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
This chapter divides itself quite naturally into sections. 1-4 belong together, then 5 and 6, 7 seems less closely connected; then follows 8-12.
1. A struggle is evidently at hand, whether the same as that to which allusion is more than once made, by incitation, as in Y. XXXI, 18; with anxious expectation, as in Y. XLIV, 15, 16; or as if in a sense of victory, as in Y. XLV, 1; or of defeat, as in Y. XLIX, is difficult, or rather impossible to determine. But with the verses 10, 11, 12 in view, together with the dispirited, Y. XLIX, 1, we shall say at once that, if this verse was intended to connect with them, an armed struggle had been expected, whether the decisive one or not, we need not say.
The saint, that is, the pious adherent to the Holy Order, whatever may be the result of the preliminary struggles, is encouraged by a view of the end. 2. But the burdened worshipper craves still further reassurance before the storms of battle came once more upon him. 3. For little as the assurances of Ahura are valued
by the heretic, to the man who understands the true relations, what Ahura declares by means of His inspired prophets, the secret-announcers, this is, of all things, best; (he need not ask as elsewhere, Y. XXXI, 17). 4. And whoever would hope for spiritual growth and purity must turn his mind to that word of the Deity, and pursue its teachings faithfully, and so at last his fears will vanish, for his doubts will disappear. He will understand as the Lord has taught.
5. This verse seems a prayer to Âramaiti; when the long struggles shall have found their issues, and the one party or the other wins the day, let not that party be the evil alliance with its monarch. For, if the government is set up, and carried on with all the prescribed ceremonial and moral exactness of the wise Kisti; if men who toil for the sacred Kine, and with the virtue of those who cultivate her, hold the reins of power, and can so suppress the predatory raids on defenceless, as well as unoffending victims, then no gift of Ahura, since the tribes became a nation, could be looked upon as a greater, or as so great a blessing, as the correct Authority, and the Order of the Faith.
6. For that sacred Kine, as so often already implied or stated, was all in all to the pious worshipper. It was she, representing, as she did, all wealth in herds, who alone could sustain the home-life of happy industry. And this is the reason why Ahura had originally caused the herbage to grow for her support.
7. Urging the overthrow of the spirit of Rapine in accordance with the Kine's complaint, he exhorts the armed masses to energetic and offensive valour.
8. He then vehemently, although only rhetorically, asks how he may use the proper prayers to rally the needed coadjutors among the chiefs (Y. XLVI, 9) to carry on the struggle. 9. Again he utters a cry for relief in his suspense, and of entreaty for light as to the rewards, which did not concern this life for its own sake (verse 1) merely or chiefly; but which were spiritual blessings received here in preparation for the spiritual world. 10. 'When,' he repeats as one among similar questions four times repeated, 'when shall the ideal men appear whose thoughtful plans (Y. XLVI, 3) shall drive hence the polluted schemes of the false priests and of the tyrants (Y. XLVI, 1)? 11. And when shall Âramaiti, the kindly piety of home, appear, she who, like the earth, spreads pastures for the peaceful kine, when shall she appear with holy Khshathra (later well called an angel, or archangel) the personified Authority of God over home and state, without which
an anarchy as bad as that of the Evil Authority (verse 5) might continue or recur; and who was the champion-chief who would give them peace through blood (Y. XLVI, 4; LIII, 9)? In a word, to whom, as to the coadjutors of such a leader, would the light of reason, and the true faith come to inspire and to guide them?' 12. There is but one only class of human combatants whom he would thus match against that Demon of furious Rapine (v. 6), toward whom the evil on their part at their first creation rushed as to their leader (Y. XXX, 6), and these are the saving Saoshyants, the vicegerents of the Immortals upon earth, the religious princes Vîstâspa, Gâmâspa, Frashaostra, and with them, as the greatest among all, he who was, with much probability, the speaker in the passage, that is, the Ratu appointed by Ahura for the kine and for men, Zarathustra Spitâma elsewhere and later called, with hyperbole, the first tiller, warrior, and priest.
1. If through his action 1 in the offering of gifts in accordance with the Righteous Order, (Thy saint 2) shall smite the Demon-of-the-Lie (the inspiring spirit of our foes), when that in very truth shall come 3, which has been (and is still yet) proclaimed as a deceit 4, (when it shall come) in the Immortal life, regarding (as it does both) men (to bless), and Daêvas 5 (to afflict them), then shall (Thy faithful worshipper) increase thereby the celebration of Thy praise, O Lord! and with it blessings 6 (for Thy folk).
2. Tell me then, Lord? (the end), for Thou dost
know it. (Tell me to grant me strength and courage) before those conflicts come which shall encounter me 1 (as leader of Thy tribes); shall the champion of Thy holy Order, O Ahura! smite (at last) the evil heretic, and when? (I ask Thee this); for this if it be gained (is known) to be the (one) good consummation 2 of (our) life.
3. (Yea, tell me then this), for to the enlightened 3 man is that the best of teachings which the beneficent Ahura doth proclaim, and through (the revelations of) His holy Order, bounteous as he and wise with His intelligence, as well as they 4 who declare to us (still other) secret sayings (in His name). The one like Thee (their chieftain 5) is, O Mazda! endowed with Thy Good Mind's understanding thoughts.
4. (Yea, tell me the secret of the future struggle 1; for that enlightened man) must 2 follow close 3 the holy Faith (for which that struggle had its toil and effort). Yea, O Mazda! he who would bend his mind (till it attains to) that which is the better and more holy, must pursue the Daêna close in word and action. His will and wish must be consistent with his chosen creed and fealty, and in Thine Understanding (which discerneth all) shall he in many ways 4 be (versed) at last!
5. (But while I as yet know not the issue, I can yet hope and pray.) Let the good kings obtain the rule. Let not the evil monarchs govern us 6, (but let the righteous gain the day and rule us), with deeds done in a good discernment, O thou pious wisdom, Âramaiti! sanctifying to men's minds the best of blessings for (their) offspring 7. Yea, for the Kine, (O Âramaiti 5!)
let (Thy) toil be given 1, and may’st Thou cause her to prosper for our life.
6. For she will grant us pleasing homes 2, and, (while we live) in this Thy Good Mind's longing 3 prayer (to gain her welfare), she grants us likewise lasting strength (for every deed which that Thy Good Mind moves us to perform), and therefore hath Mazda caused the plants 4 to flourish for her (nurture), He, Ahura, in the generation of primeval life.
7. (Then in our coming strife 5 let both her mortal foes be slain.) Let the Wrath-demon of rapine be cast down. Smite ye against the envy (which would plot against our Throne 6), O ye who, abiding by the Good Mind, and in accordance with our holy Order, desire to hold that refuge 7 fast, to whose sacred bond the bounteous man belongs. And therefore,
[paragraph continues] O Ahura! (to save Thy struggling saint who toils with changing lot) will I place (that refuge) for him in Thy world.
8. (And how shall I beseech Thee for this victory and gift?) What is the (potent 1) prayer to bring on that Thy holy Reign 2? What for Thy sacred reward and blessing for my (soul)? How shall I seek the open helpers for (the spread and maintenance of) Thy (great) Order 3, while I myself live 4 on in Thy Good Spirit's deeds?
9. (Aye, when shall faith be changed to sight 5); and when shall I in verity discern if Ye indeed have power over aught, O Lord! and through Thy Righteous Order (guarding here on earth), O Thou within whose (power lie) my griefs 6 and doubts? Let then Thy saving prophet find and gain aright (for) my delight 7 Thy Good Mind's wonder-working
grace 1; yea, let Thy Saoshyant see how gifts of recompense may be his own.
10. When, Mazda! shall the men of mind's perfection come 2? And when shall they drive 3 from hence, the soil of this (polluted) drunken joy 4, whereby the Karpans with (their) angry zeal would crush us 5, and by whose inspiration the tyrants of the provinces (hold on) their evil rule 6?
11. Yea, when shall our perfected Piety appear
together with 1 Thy Righteousness? When shall she come, as having the amenities of home for us, and provided (like our land) with pastures 2 (for the kine)? And who shall give us quiet 3 from the cruel (men) of evil life and faith? To whom shall Thy Good Mind's sacred wisdom come (to guide them in their toil to rescue and avenge us)?
12. (To whom? The answer lieth near.) Such shall be the Saviours of the Provinces, and they who, through Thy Good Mind's grace, shall go on hand in hand with mental keenness 4 (as it spreads among Thy saints) by the doing every deed of Thy commandment, O Ahura! through the help of, and in accordance with, Thy Holy Order; for such as these are set (for us), as steadfast foes of hate!
153:1 The Pahlavi has also pavan zak dahisnŏ; but a false gloss gives an erroneous concrete [pavan tanû î pasînŏ]. Recall âdâi paitî.
153:2 See ashaônô, ashâunê (sic) (Y. XLVII, 4, 5).
153:3 Read 'as âshûtâ'—has been pushed on, enacted. I correct here as seems so evidently necessary; but the Pahlavi anticipates with its amat zak yâmtûnêd.
153:4 Pavan friftârîh.
153:5 See Y. XXIX, 4.
153:6 See Y. XXX, 11, savakâ ashavabyô.
154:1 Meng = mãm or man; -eng is the nasalised vowel. Man is suspiciously significant here; 'mental battles' is rather advanced for the circumstances. It is, however, not impossible. The Pahlavi favours mãm (?) here; it has avŏ li. We might even read menâ on its evidence. The Pahlavi indicates the meaning 'crises' under the figure of the 'Bridge,' which was the last great crisis to every man in the eye of the earlier, as well as of the later, Faith; so also in Y. LI, 12. The 'straits of life' would be an admirable meaning; I differ with hesitation.
154:2 Pahlavi kardârîh.
154:3 See Y. XLIII, 14.
154:4 Yaêkît gûzrâ-senghaunghô. Or, 'knowing also those who are the teachers of secret doctrines.'
154:5 We may, with some effort, connect thwâvãs with vaêdemnâi. Spentô vîdvau, however, must refer to the immediately foregoing Ahurô, especially in view of the tvem vîdvau, Ahurâ, of verse 2. 'The one like Thee' might even, as in other cases, be only an oblique way of rendering 'Thyself;' but the expression 'with the understanding of Vohu Manah' induces me to refer the word Thwâvãs to the servant of Ahura; in this case, however, this last line must of course be drawn to verse 4, although not mechanically separated from verse 3.
155:1 See verse 2.
155:2 Present for imperative, as sometimes in modern languages in giving directions.
155:3 The words are anticipated from the third line.
155:4 I follow the Indian sense here with great reluctance. Nanâ may well be, in Iranian, equivalent to 'each several one,' and in fact may not impossibly teach us the origin of the word ('man, man.' comp. narem,* narem*). The Pahl. trlr. is so decided for a personal sense, that he renders gabrâ nêsman = man and woman. Did he suppose 'woman' to be literally (!) expressed in the text?
155:5 Âramaiti is addressed, unless indeed an instrumental is read without MSS. An instrumental is of course preferable.
155:6 The Pahlavi has, with admirable freedom, zakatŏ hû-khûdâî pâdakhshâyînisn, va al lanman zak î dûs-khûdâî salîtâ yehavûnâdŏ. I read hukhshathrâ khshayeñtãm, mâ ne dûs-khshathrâ, to bring the metre somewhat into order, as some gross irregularity is present; the caesura only, not the sense, is affected by the change.
155:7 Or, 'from the birth-hour on;' so the Pahlavi. Its gloss reads [akhar min zerkhûnisnŏ avinâsîh pâhlûm].
156:1 So Bartholomae, who now holds to a third singular here, leaving the text undisturbed, and explaining as an optative.
156:2 The Pahlavi seems to render 'comfort' here, using khvârîh in that sense.
156:3 So the Pahlavi correctly indicates by its arzûk; Ner. priyataram.
156:4 Compare Y. LI, 7. Are the plants here mentioned as in connection with Âramaiti in her figurative association with the earth?
156:5 See verses 1, 2.
156:6 Or, 'against the blow,' Y. XXIX, 1. The Pahlavi translator here renders padîrak î arêshak, while in Y. XXIX, 1 he renders î rêshkûn. The variations are probably not real; the renderings referring to some forgotten differences of text; or, as often, he may have anticipated modern freedom, and 'changed his text;' that is, rendered it as if changed to a seemingly more intelligible form; so in a throng of similar cases. This is the only rational explanation of some of his errors. (He was able to render, and has rendered, most grammatical forms in different places.)
156:7 The Pahlavi has, however, navîdîh. Did he read vidhyãm, in itself a very possible text?
157:1 Compare emavantem aêshem, also peresâ nau yâ tôi ehmâ parstâ. Observe that the Pahlavi translator distinguishes the two senses of îsti. In Y. XLVI, 2 he transcribes the Gâthic word, the Persian rendering ‘hezânah; Ner. punyalakshmîm; here, however, he has: Kadâr lak, Aûharmazd, zak î sapîr khvahîsn î khûdâyîh.
157:2 Compare verse 5.
157:3 Ashâ might certainly equal ákhâ here (so Bartholomae) if the constant and intentional repetition of the name and idea of Asha, = the personified Order, would not have caused confusion.
157:4 The Pahlavi translator renders a word which occupied the place of gavarô by yakhsenunîdârîh; Ner. following as to root (freely as to form). As he, however, renders related forms elsewhere by 'living,' 'live,' our only safe conclusion is that he had a different word from gavarô (givarô) before him in his MS.
157:5 Compare Y. XXVIII, 6.
157:6 I am very far from certain that we do not seriously blunder in not following the indication of the Pahlavi here. See remarks Y. XXXII, 16.
157:7 Or, 'let me enjoy as my own;' but môi is difficult. Ûkãm might otherwise be a first personal form in the sense of the Vedic uk. p. 158 Bartholomae's third sing. imper. is also of course well possible; but were not the originally abnormal third singulars in -âm, duhâ´m sayâm, vidâm, taken over from third pl. subj. '-âm' really equalling the nasal vowel merely*? Comp. also Indian ádrisram, ábudhram, ásrigram, Zend vavazirem, -am = an. 'Tradition' has, Pahl. zîvisnîh; Ner. gîvitam; Pers. zîstan, for ûkãm, as if rendering 'enjoyment,' 'experience of life.' *(âm = tâm is more difficult.)
158:1 Comparing vápus; otherwise, with the Pahlavi, 'knowing the destruction (of the evil) which Vohûman works;' see Y. XXIX, 6, where the rendering of the Pahlavi is supported by the previous verse.
158:2 Comp. Y. XLVI, 3. Kadâ Mazda; frârentê*—saoshyantãm khratavô?
158:3 Compare Y. XXXII, 15.
158:4 Is Soma-intoxication here referred to? And was the Haoma-worship in abeyance at the time? The Pahlavi seems to have understood 'magic' here, and in the evil sense, that is, judging from the perhaps later gloss. Aside from the gloss, however, the Pahlavi may well have been, nay, more probably was, intended to be read madîh as = madahyâ.
158:5 As to this word, we cannot do better than follow Justi (although his work is now a score of years old). The Indian várpas, in the sense of deceit, has also been compared. The last Pahlavi translator was probably confused by finding this word, as so often, divided in his MS. He rendered as best he could, or rather he handed down the shattered documents, or oral teachings, of his predecessors with his own too often lame additions, the whole mass being rich in the relics of the truth.
158:6 See verse 5.
159:1 Mat following Ashâ shows that we may also have the preposition in pôi mat.
159:2 As Âramaiti is here spoken of as 'having pasture,' that is, as inspiring the thrifty husbandmen who cultivate the meadows by irrigation, or drainage, she became associated herself with those meadows, and so later with the earth; see Y. XLVII, 2.
159:3 The Pahlavi sees in râmãm enforced quiet not 'from' but 'to' the wicked; 'who shall deal the finishing blow to the wicked?'
159:4 So also the Pahlavi, shnâsinîdârîh.